10 Software Founders Share The 5 Things You Need To Know Before You Start a SAAS

My Post (5)Have you ever had an idea for a new app or software, but just dropped it because you didn’t know where to begin?

Many people have the same experience. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to turn that idea into a successful app?

Authority Magazine recently interviewed more than fifty founders who had an idea for an app or software and took that idea and created a flourishing business.

Among other topics, the SAAS founders shared the five things you need to know if you want to start a SAAS.

Here are ten highlights of these interviews:

Dennis Cail 

1. Know why you are starting your app before you start. I’m a huge fan of Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why. The premise is you have to start with the Why to get to the How and What. The Why for Zirtue is to create a more financially inclusive world by mobilizing and digitizing loans between friends and family.

2. Know your blind spots and solve for your gaps. This requires you to part ways with your ego and admit your weaknesses. A good example of this is my decision to partner with my co-founder, Michael Seay. Michael is a strong financial engineer and I am extremely efficient as a technical engineer. This brings immediate value and traction to our FinTech company and that combination of skill sets has allowed us build and scale quickly.

3. Know that you can’t do it alone. This is an extension of know you’re your blind spots. I couldn’t do anything I do without a strong team around me.

4. Know your market and if you don’t know it, learn it fast. An example of this would be all the research we did prior to launching Zirtue to understand the market we were seeking to disrupt. Simple premise being you don’t have a business unless you have a clear market to support that business.

5. Know that bad news never gets better with time. I am a huge fan of transparency and I have learned that if you want your stakeholders (i.e. investors, employees, users, etc.) to trust you, you have to trust them with the bad news as much as you trust them with the good news. Just have a mitigation plan and always be willing to ask for help when you need it. Leadership pride and ego is the death of most high potential companies.

  1. Start with why — I know people are sick of hearing this but people keep saying it because it’s still the most relevant advice. Why would anyone care? Why this solution? Why now? Why you?
  2. Get out and ask people — but make sure you’re asking the right questions. I asked lots of questions, and was able to get to the core of the issue.
  3. Know SOMETHING about development — you don’t have to be a coder (although that certainly helps), but you need to understand the development process, how things work, how developers think.
  4. Learn how to sell — I’ve been in sales most of my career and I love it. I solve people’s problems and they pay me, it’s great! But so many founders are afraid of the sales process. You HAVE to be able to sell yourself and your ideas to potential cofounders, investors, employees and most importantly to your target audience. If you can’t sell, you’ll have a very hard time.
  5. Be able to be ok without perfection — figure out the core thing you are providing and build that, come out from behind the computer and show it to people, get feedback and be willing to mold it to what the market needs and will pay for, not what you think is the right solution.

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